Here Tomorrow, Gone Today 8/8
Rating: PG (Gen)
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I profit from nothing. But if I did… there'd be less shirt-wearing, more punch ups and a larger special effects budget. Luckily, my brain doesn't need one.
Summary: SGA/SPN Crossover AU. The world ended and not how any hunter would have imagined. A BSG-style fleet of refugees on the run. Spoilers: SG1 Season 9 and 10. SPN: Season 4 and 5
AN: I have decided that the Attack took place between 4.8 and 4.9 of SPN. Thus: Sam had stopped 'whatever' he was doing with Ruby, but Dean hadn't told him yet about Hell. So early season 4 Winchesters and near the end of Season 9 SG1.
Previously on Here Tomorrow… The Winchesters traded devil's traps for booze, and O'Neill found out. Enochian sigils bamboozle Priors but Daniel says that doesn't make sense. Cas proves Sam's point by face planting onto the table and then the Ori arrive. Oh, and Heaven has fallen. The Ori attack, the Trickster finds the Ark, Dean stabs the Orisi in the face, and Cas ends up the infirmary. All is well! (ok, not really.)
RPX898 wasn't Lantea by any stretch of the imagination. Its combination of a whiter than usual star, an odd mix of atmospheric gases and bacteria rich water resulted in a purple ocean, with patches of iridescent greens and pinks. Like most planets with Stargates, it could support human life, but the collective medical community aboard Atlantis had all agreed (for once) that keeping the shield up would be advisable. The majority of the population had not been exposed to 'true' alien worlds before, and it was deemed prudent.
It was good being planetside. The perpetual night of space messed with your internal clock and no matter how good the ambient lighting was in producing vitamin d and sunshine like effects, even a pale, milky star felt better than the cold, empty depths of space. RPX was on a shorter rotation to Earth, a mere 18.33 hour day, but the balconies had been packed with spectators for the first sunset and sunrise.
It was a little after sunrise now, the sky pinking from deep midnight blue to pale topaz and lilac. Atlantis was quiet, the alpha shift changing seats with gamma shift, people yawning on both sides, the air resplendent with silence.
All in all it was just a little too pastel and twee for one Rodney McKay, who felt the need for something a little more red and violent, as befitting his mood.
"But I do not understand the purpose of a tactical vest. It does not assist in the planning of tactics for an operation, nor in the facilitation of strategy or..."
"It's bullet proof!" Rodney snarled, eyes fixed in front of him, refusing to visually acknowledge the presence behind him, hoping that maybe, MAYBE, he'd get the hint and stop talking.
"Then why is not called a bullet proof vest?"
"It is! Sometimes."
Alas, the hint getting was not to be. Instead there were more questions.
"I do not und..."
McKay whirled around, hands clenched white knuckled on his own tactical vest, eyes raking the source of his annoyance with unrepentant ire, and strangled out a half shout, "It an all purpose utility item. Bullet proof, pockets for shit, places to hang stuff, it frees up the arms so that soldiers can focus on killing people, rather being human packhorses!"
"Ah, thank you. Why did you not say so initially..."
And that was part of the problem. It, he, was so damn polite. And sincere. And the way he stared at you, like he was seeing into your soul, because he probably was... because he was a frigging angel! Rodney bit his lip, and cursed silently hoping the rumour wasn't true that the angel could read your mind, because if he could, Rodney was going to be smited any second now. Taking a deep, rational, trying to avoid a damn, er, darn lightning bolt, Rodney growled, "Because ... shut up! And go away!"
See, damn polite and understanding! It was infuriating. Sure, sure, he was go... Rodney swallowed the impulse to blaspheme within earshot of a heavenly being. He was an angel and they were supposed to be perfect, but did he have to be perfect at asking questions too?
"You're still following me," Rodney snapped, fiddling with his P90, idly wondering if angels needed bullet proof vests actually and then quickly shoved that thought into the deep locker of 'we are NOT thinking about it, definitely not thinking about shooting an angel.'
Castiel, bedecked in black tac vest, t-shirt and khaki BDU trousers and looking strangely odd without the perpetual trenchcoat, deadpanned in reply, "I am not. We are merely travelling in the same direction."
It was like talking with Teal'c, Teyla and Ronon all rolled into one. Rodney briefly indulged in a mental blow by blow comparison of the four 'aliens' ranking them according to likeableness vs annoyance. The rather easy task was interrupted when Rodney registered what Castiel had said. Rodney stopped, turned on the angel and exclaimed, ""No, no, I am going to the Gate Room because I am going on a mission shortly, YOU..."
"Are also going on a mission," Castiel replied, piercing blue eyes, well, piercing right through you, like he could see your soul, which he probably could.
Resisting the urge to cover the grubby parts of his soul, mostly because he had no idea where they were, McKay stammered, "What? Why?"
Like it was completely reasonable and obvious, Castiel added, "I believe General O'Neill explained this is great detail at the briefing meeting earlier this week, which if I recall you attended. Were you not paying attention?"
Affronted, naturally – who wouldn't be, McKay waved the implication off and muttered, "Yes, yes, of course I was! Uh... I can't always be... I had more important things on my mind!"
Castiel raised a very Teal'c eyebrow and Rodney bristled at the scepticism, especially when the angel said, "More important than the revised plan to evict the Ori from Earth and their eventual destruction?"
"Yes! No... ah... what?"
Rodney rapidly scanned his memory and tried to figure out what on Earth Castiel was talking about. He knew the mission was about the Ori, but honestly the specifics were escaping him. Not that he could be blamed, afterall, he was responsible for the entire engineering division and the massive challenges facing a fleet of ships without spare parts, limited power and an even more limited skill set. Surviving the Ori would take more than just military operations, there had to be a population left to save.
"I believe Dean Winchester was wrong."
Distracted from his musings, and resuming the walk to the Gate room, Rodney stopped thinking about the work load awaiting his return, the impossible solutions he had to find, and snapped, "Of course he's wrong, he always wrong. Just what is he wrong about this time?"
Unperturbed by the tone and irate glance, Castiel matched Rodney's pace, now walking beside him. Rodney vaguely wondered where the wings were. "You being an expert on many subjects and aspects of life on Atlantis."
Rodney didn't know whether to be insulted or surprised, and surprisingly, surprise won, "What? Of course I am! ... he said that, really?" Dean Winchester saying anything good about Rodney McKay was a miracle in and of itself. So considering the appearance of an angel on Atlantis, perhaps Rodney shouldn't be so surprised, but he was.
Castiel wasn't done though, "Indeed, I believe he referred to you as a knowitall. However judging by our conversation so far, I fail to see evidence of this..."
This Rodney could not let slide, and as they entered the Gate room, turning the corner, he sputtered, "Oh, oh... one thing! One thing I didn't pay attention to and suddenly..."
"Playing Angry Birds again, Rodney?"
In true form, Sheppard appeared when you least expected, or wanted him. That was a little unfair of an assessment, sure, but Rodney wasn't in the mood to be fair. Already standing in the Gate Room, John Sheppard's smirk said it all. Certainty that he was right – he was. Amusement that he was right – bastard. And delight in catching Rodney out – again. Revenge would be sweet! Before Rodney would retort, and defend his honour, Sheppard laughed, "I saw Zelenka's last high score on the server board – with the screen cap to prove it."
Rodney sucked in a lungful of air, squinting a little at the bright sunlight in the Gate room and calmly, rationally squeaked, "That manipulative son of gun Czech is more than capable of photoshopping a high score!"
"So you were playing Angry Birds?" Sheppard grinned, slouching a little, hands rested casually on his P90, and shared an amused glance with Castiel, who did not return it.
"NO! I was... planning this week's shift roster. And determining priority repairs, and allocating someone, Anyone, to fix the power couplings on the Apollo! Some of us have actual work beside walking around looking like a bedraggled cat!" Rodney fumed angrily, daring John to contradict him.
"Ah." Was all John said, his smirk contradicting the acceptance, entirely. Rodney huffed, and growled under his breath. Castiel watched them both, bemused by the puny mortals no doubt. Sheppard smiled.
For four beautiful, blissful seconds of silence reigned, Rodney breathed unmolested and unteased and then Castiel, with excellent timing, asked, "Tell me Dr McKay, why are you interested in playing with angry birds, surely they are not ideal play things..."
"Enough! Go Away! Sheppard!"
And Sheppard, finally took pity on him and gently guided Castiel away, mentioning something about finalising the plan for the various missions about to head out. Rodney tried to calm down, centre himself, because it didn't pay going on an away mission worked up. He listed off prime numbers quietly and found balance in the math.
Just as he was feeling more settled and ready to face whatever dangers the galaxy had in store for them, half heard footfalls startled him and he heard a deep voice rumble, "You awake, McKay or sleeping through another meeting?"
Whirling on Ronon, because of course it was Ronon, McKay snarled, "Don't start, Conan. Just don't start!"
The makeshift tac room was quiet, almost everybody already on their way to the Gate Room. Dean though, was taking his time. He was hoping to either catch Sam, or avoid him – whichever came easiest.
Little brother wasn't happy. Not by far.
Bobby wasn't either, but at least Singer had a soft spot for Dean large enough to absorb any slight or hurt, so he was still talking to him. Sam though, Sam expected a hell of a lot more from Dean and was not prepared to take a back seat – so now he was giving Dean the silent treatment.
It was childish, juvenile, even a little mean, but honestly, Dean preferred it to the alternative.
General O'Neill wasn't entirely happy with him either, either of them. No scratch that, all of them. None of their less than detailed explanations had sat well with the General, but hell if Dean was going to bare his heart and soul to a room full of military officers and egg heads. Too much of their own lives were wrapped up the drama of the Apocalypse and well... they could wait till Hell froze over for all he cared. Besides, the apocalypse had been averted by the simple fact of a different sort, their sort, of apocalypse taking place. Alien invasion. It still pissed Dean off no end. Aliens!
So Sam wasn't happy, the Brass weren't happy and Castiel was following him around like a lost little dog in a trenchcoat. Everyone else... kinda didn't know what to do with him. Sure, his team of techies were acting like nothing had changed, but most other folk kept giving him this look. It was a look of 'I'm both terrified and relieved you're here.' Dean was used to it, in small doses, after saving someone from a ghost or fugly, but all day, every day was getting to be a bit much, all because he knew an Angel and killed the Orisi. Well...
Ah, Sam had gotten tired of his own silent treatment. Direct approach time, again.
Dean turned, the tac vest rattling as he did so, and shoved his 911 into the front holster for easy access. He was armed for bear, and that included all the right sigils memorised for Prior corralling. The Ori were going to be pissed. A lot of Priors and folks out in the Milkway had stopped believing but the Ark hadn't reached everyone, yet... so, yeah. The Ori might be out for his blood.
Sam was impersonating an irate, immovable statue. He was blocking the exit, silhouetted against the doorway, sunlight streaming in around him. It was nice seeing the sun, a sun, for longer than the time it took to walk to and from the Gate. Sam was kitted out as well, and Dean noted that he'd done so somewhere else, away from him, so Dean swallowed the urge to check if Sammy had everything he needed.
"We need to talk."
Dean nodded, yes, yes they did. Sam though, Sam was being a right little bitch about everything. "Sure, Sam. Go ahead, start yakking."
Shaggy head shake of denial, and Sam hissed, "No, you need to start talking, Dean. I'm not letting you go out there without telling me what in the hell is going on!"
Dean stared his brother down, trying to settle the rising tide of emotion and contemplated playing the fool, pretending Sam was talking about the mission. But in reality, Sam was. He was talking about everything, and specifically about Dean and the stuff he left out, about Hell, Castiel, what he knew about Heaven's battle, yadda, yadda, yadda. "We're going looking for Merlin, Sam. That's whats going on." Fool it was then.
"No, Dean. With you!"
Oh, he was getting the angry eyes, and furrowed brow. Sam was pissed. Still. Well, Dean was pissed too.
"Sure thing, Sam. Just as soon as you tell me about Ruby and your dirty little secret." Impressed that he'd managed that with relative calm and poise, Dean waited. Sam paled, as usual, and snapped, "Nothing! I told you, there was nothing going on! She was just ... helping me access my you know..."
Snorting, and closing the distance to Sam, eager to get in his face, his anger rising fast, Dean growled, "Helping you access your demon powers, right, Sam?"
A long drawnout moment of tension stretched between them as Sam worried his lip and tried to 'will' Dean to talk. Dean could feel the plea in the air, the plea for big brother to cave, give in to little brother and tell him everything without the corresponding quid pro quo. No way in hell was Dean giving in, not again.
Something steely and dark settled in Sam's expression as the moments ticked by and he snapped, "Well you obviously know something... did Castiel tell you?"
"Tell me what, Sam? Huh? What did Castiel tell me?" Dean jabbed a finger into Sam's sternum and shoved, suddenly very willing to push Sam as far as he could. Sam stepped back with the motion, face hard and angry. "I don't know, Dean. What did he tell you? What's going on with you two? With you? Why won't you tell me?"
The last part was all little brother whine, petulant and hurt that he was being denied what he always got, everything. Sick and tired of this game, of the same damn conversation, Dean shoved Sam aside and stalked out of the room.
A sasquatch hand grabbed his and stopped him, and Dean nearly whirled and clocked Sam one, but he caught himself in time, fist clenched but no punch thrown. His intent though must have been clear on his face, as Sam dropped his hand and settled into a defensive stance, automatically. Realising no punch was forthcoming, Sam exclaimed, "What, Dean? Why are you so angry? What did I do?"
It was close, Sam nearly caught him out. Dean had the thought to speech half formed when he caught himself. Instead he snarled,"Why am I angry, Sam? Because I went to Hell!"
As expected, Sam recoiled. God love his brother, but it was easy to push his buttons at times and Hell was a pretty damn big button. Dean watched as Sam tried to find something to say that wasn't dismissive or unfeeling, that wasn't 'dude, you were in Hell, what did you expect.'
"It can't just be Hell, Dean... its... more ah, recent..." Sam offered instead, trying to sound reasonable and not frustrated. Dean shook his head, the anger rising again, "Why not, Sam? Why can't it be Hell? Why can't I be a messed up shithead because of Hell?"
"Because you were fine! You said you didn't remember!"
And there it was. The lies between them. Those four months in Hell and with Ruby and every day thereafter.
Sam was torn, visibly uncertain as to what to do. Dean knew exactly what was flashing through Sam's mind. He was weighing the odds, laying it all out and trying to plot a way through the minefield that got him what he wanted without giving up too much, or anything. He was reviewing the last six months, trying to pin point when their relationship went pearshaped, and Dean knew, knew with every fibre of his being, that Sam had no clue. The first sign he had that anything was wrong with Dean other than being an overworked refugee was when Castiel fell out of the sky and Dean flat out told him to stuff his questions. And that, more than anything, probably bothered the hell out of Sam. That Dean had fooled him for so long.
Ah, little brother was back. When in doubt, bring out the big guns that were tried and true. Sam was projecting little boy lost, but Dean could see the angry man underneath, the frustrated, irate man who wanted to shake some answers out of his brother.
Dean had guns of his own, and he was angry enough not to regret using them.
"I went to Hell for you, Sam." Cold, icy, angry. Sam matched him with fire, not wanting Dean to remind him, "I didn't ask you too, I didn't want it... I... you chose... you can't keep throwing that at me!"
Relentless, like Sam hadn't even spoken, Dean stared at his brother, his goddamn little brother, and said, "And while I was in Hell, you were screwing around with a demon, Sam."
Sam cut himself off, no doubt hoping Dean had caved and was going to spill the proverbial beans. But Dean was out for blood, felt like baying like a hell hound, his heart was racing so hard. "I gave up everything for you, Sam and you threw it back in my face!" The 'everything' echoed through the quiet halls of Atlantis, a city a million light years from home, but right now, all that mattered was Sam. Who looked pained, but stubborn. "Not when you moved on, not when you shacked up with some skank, Sam." Sam squired a little, but remained resolute. Dean snarled, "But when you started keeping secrets, started lying to my face... then you damn well wiped your feet on my grave."
Sam's knuckles were bloodless, white pinpricks on red hands.
"Do you regret going to Hell... for me?"
The burn of anger and sorrow was complete and overwhelming and Dean shoved it aside, refused to drown in the misery of it all. Hefting his P90, face set and fixed, Dean ran weary eyes over his Sam and said, "No, but sometimes I wish I hadn't come back."
He left Sam standing in the doorway, face turned away, hands loose and helpless. Maybe the Ori would find him today. Maybe he'd let them.
Jack was a silver lining type of guy. Sure, he saw the worst in people, especially enemies and weird alien cultures, and it might have been a massive bone of contention between him and Daniel over the years, but at heart he was just a suspicious bastard. That however did not mean that he couldn't find the flip side of a bad situation. And one of the flip sides to this whole damn mess was – he'd lost a crap load of weight.
Life at the top was good, a little too good and Jack had been resigned (happily) to a wider waist and pant size, but the benefits of a restricted rationed diet and now a leaner, meaner frame could not be denied.
The down side to this flip side? None of his clothes fit. And short of going to Walter's team of Logistics people and looking through the spare clothing bin (limited in every way possible) he was stuck looking like a boat in full sail some days. Fingering his well worn, getting smooth, BDU top, Jack sighed and wondered if the Lucien Alliance would be interested in trading clothe and material for broken parts and useless tech. Probably not.
Jack looked up, and Chuck said, "The teams are almost ready to go. Just waiting on a few stragglers."
"Daniel and Vala?" Jack guessed, and Chuck nodded. "And a few others, sir."
Jack waved it off and muttered, "Let me know when they're either here or when I have send out the dogs."
The Plan had morphed into 'The Plans' – plural. No A and B. Just Chicken and Egg. Even if the Senior Officers, his own XO team had vetoed calling the plans Chicken and Egg, Jack still thought of them as such. Plan Chicken was simple. Plan and execute a direct strike to Earth and expose the entire Prior population to the Ark. Plan Egg was a little more complicated, but only just. Search the entire galaxy for Merlin's lab, find a device designed to kill the Ori on a higher plane and turn it on. And then send it to the Ori galaxy. Easy peasy.
Today was the initial stages of Plan Egg – find Merlin's lab. Plan Chicken was taking a little longer as the Fleet needed to be in tip top shape to tackle the Ori and the last go around with the Toilet Bowls had left them badly damaged.
Another silver lining though – Earth was doing better than them, in some ways. Castiel, once he was able to sit up long enough to talk for a few hours, had shed a little light on the situation back home. After the initial attack and the massive offensive to pound Earth into submission, the Ori had taken a step back. Set up a few governments, sent out missionaries, rebuilt a few cities in super fast time. New Washington was apparently quite beautiful. And the crux was, as long as you kept your head down and didn't resist and at least pretended to listen to the Priors, you were fine. Life went on.
The general air of relief in the room and the city after that news had been tangible. However, no one but Castiel expressed surprise at the fact that some folk still resisted, took affront at the invasion and made life hard for the Ori. The human resistance movement were clever and resourceful and Castiel had expressed regret at not utilising them as Dean had suggested all those months ago. Because while the Ori's attack on humanity had stopped, bar the odd public execution, the Ori had turned their full attention on their rivals. The old Gods and Heaven. Somewhat belatedly the Ori realised Hell needed to be taken care off too, but by then the demons had already joined the battle.
Jack found it both strangely disturbing and incredible that for most people on Earth, and even here on Atlantis, faith was no longer a requirement. The old religions had not sat back and accepted a usurper. They fought back. Evidence and proof had replaced faith.
Where it all became murky however was what role the Winchester brothers played in the whole thing. Castiel refused to disclose why he'd been visiting Dean regularly and updating him on Earth. Dean Winchester was a veritable locked box of nondisclosure. Sam had been more forthcoming, mentioning the 'family business' and explaining demons and Elder Gods etc. Daniel and Sam had had more than one heated debate about the 'old' Gods, but it was more arguing for argument sake than anything else.
Dean's refusal to disclose more was frustrating – and Jack was glad to see that he wasn't the only one annoyed with the guy, but Winchester had made a good point. The information they had was more than enough to implement the Plans. Castiel would enlist the help of those angels still on Earth for Plan Chicken. Castiel himself was helping out on Plan Egg.
Things were looking up. Things were also very tight, stressed and worried, but the knowledge that their families might actually be ok, that the remnants of Heaven's Host were on their side did a lot for morale. And the tit bit that Castiel held the Keys to Heaven was even more interesting.
Chuck was nodding that everyone was ready. Jack dragged his feet off the console and straightened. Time to inspire the masses. The assembled crowd in front of the Gate wasn't as big as the usual food expeditions, but it contained a lot of their top personnel. Staring at their collective faces, Jack suddenly missed Elizabeth Weir quite keenly. She had had such a knack for speaking to people, winning them over.
Dean Winchester and Castiel were off to one side, a visible 'bubble' around them as people kept their distance. Sam was on the opposite side of the room, quietly talking to Daniel. The distance, both physical and emotional between the brothers was worrying, but Jack was a big believer of letting people work things out themselves.
"Right folks!" All eyes turned to him and Jack clapped his hands. "Everyone know what to do?" Nods and 'yes, sirs' all around. "McKay?"
Rodney McKay blushed bright red but he nodded sharply. "Ok, let's play it safe and careful, people. I know it's hard for most of you, especially Mitchell, but I don't want heroics, dramatic rescues or alliances with strange tribes." A soft murmur of laughter answered him, but there was general agreement. Mitchell mock saluted. Jack continued, "Play it cool, kids. The Ori might not know what our game plan is, so let's not give them a heads up."
He waved at Chuck, who dialled the first address. Over the sound of the gate dialing, Jack shouted, "No one gets left behind, got it?"
"Yes, sir," was the collective shout.
Lorne's team was first and Sam Winchester was with him. Neither Winchester made eye contact as the wormhole engaged and Lorne stepped through. Sheppard was next, with Dean and as their address dialled, Castiel made his way over to Mitchell.
Last, Mitchell's team with Castiel left and then the floor was empty, all teams gone. Turning, Jack walked over to the balcony and stared out at the purple ocean. Life is always complicated and over analysed, but sometimes, the smallest, seemly insignificant things make the biggest difference.
Earth knew about Atlantis and the Fleet. They knew that the fight, as it were, was still going on. They knew, and they were fighting in their own way. Smart, organised resistance. Castiel had been more than a one way messenger, he'd taken intel back. Jack smiled, and rubbed his hand over his face, and messed up his overly long gray hair. Sam and Dean Winchester were hunters. People who lived on the fringe of society and fought the monster under your bed. Whatever else they weren't saying, it mattered that they were good people, who saved others from the things in the dark no one else knew about.
And they weren't alone. There were others. Hunters.
Jack figured Castiel was a pretty dry individual, as one would expect from an Angel. But his smile, bright and wide, when he told everyone, including Dean it seemed, that hunters were leading, and organising the resistance on Earth... well... it had been magnificent. Hunters, the extremist nut jobs in the woods, the nerds, the housewife at home.
Atlantis was not alone. Humanity was not gone. And they had a Plan.
Jack stepped out into the sunlight, and smiled.
Fin! (and I mean it)
Authors Note: Ok, maybe not. But this rollercoaster ride of a fic is done Here are my reason why. I wrote chapter one as a one shot, I really did. I had no idea where to take this story after chapter one and I don't like not knowing the end before I start a fic. So, writing these updates has involved some deep thought at times. I know the story isn't finished and I know there is plenty to fill out.
The good news is, I plan to flesh this out. Seraphim XII and a few others have expressed interest in a series of ficlets, sort of 'scenes from a hat' or the missing scenes. So that's my plan. I will continue this as a separate story, in a series of smaller one shots of 'missing scenes'. XII has given me list of scenes to write, but if there is something you'd like to 'see' or read about, drop me a line and I'll add it to the list.
In the interim however, I'll think about how I want to resolve this AU (if I want to resolve this AU). I have three separate AUs of Dean on Atlantis – I'm getting confused, so I'll tackle them one at a time (if I can). \o/
Thank you, dear readers, for your enthusiasm. I owe a lot of people prompt fics and sequels to other stories, but when the muse is hot and the plot bunnies are planning a revolution, one must write what one must. Thank you for all of your enthusiasm and support, this is truly your fic as without your demands I would have left it at chapter one. (I don't know what that says about my willpower or need for gratification, but it was fun!)
Coming Soon: The Otherside of Tomorrow (missing scenes from Here Tomorrow Gone Today)
*fans self, that sounds so pretentious! Heeeee...*